MS Office Pulled from Microsoft Store, Downloads Halted

Dennis Faas's picture

After a lengthy court battle that saw Microsoft cut down by tiny Canadian firm i4i, the software giant has agreed to remove the conflicting function from its popular Word program. As of this morning, the XML features at the heart of the great 2009 Word legal battle have been cut out.

The ordeal began back in August, when a Texas federal judge found Microsoft guilty of infringing on small Toronto-based i4i's copyright of various XML functions found in the software company's Word, a prominent part of the very popular Office suite. Microsoft was given until October 10 to remove Word from store shelves or get the conflicting XML features out of the program, but this deadline was eventually delayed until January amidst appeals.

Microsoft lost its final appeal just before Christmas, and at that point vowed it would comply with the original court order.

MS Office Stock Dwindles Online MS Site

Getting one's hands on a copy of Office on Microsoft's website yesterday afternoon was a very difficult thing to do. According to reports, only the $679 Office Ultimate edition was being listed as "in stock". All other versions of the suite were not available for purchase. (Source:

Even Office 2003 Professional was pulled from Microsoft's MSDN and TechNet developer site.

It's a surprising turn of events, given that at its last lost appeal Microsoft appeared ready to fully comply with the order. Impressions then were that adapting to it would not have a dramatic impact on the program's functionality or Microsoft's retail capacity.

Microsoft Promises Short Absence for Office, Word

Microsoft Office should be available again soon.

"We've taken steps to comply with the court's ruling and we're introducing the revised software into the U.S. market," Microsoft noted in a statement yesterday. "This process will be imperceptible to the vast majority of customers, who will find both trial and purchase options readily available." (Source:

In fact, Microsoft promises that most basic users of Office, including owners of home businesses and students, shouldn't notice much of a blip at all. "In the U.S., the Home & Student suite is already available for online purchase and download, and the other suites are available [through] retail outlets," the company said.

MS Faces $290M in Damages, Continues Fight

Despite promises that it would move on, reports state that Microsoft will continue its fight against i4i with another hearing in front of a three-judge panel soon. The company faces having to pay damages of $290 million to the Toronto firm.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet